Mesothelioma – Comprehensive Information
It is understandable that upon diagnosis of mesothelioma, this is a highly difficult and stressful time for you and your family. As you may require more information on mesothelioma and the causes of this, we have compiled this article to give comprehensive information on mesothelioma. If you feel that you have been negligently exposed to asbestos and this has resulted in a mesothelioma diagnosis then you may be entitled to compensation. If this is the case, contact a member of our expert team today by using an online contact form on our website or telephone now on: 0191 5656290
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a particular kind of tumour that is almost always associated with exposure to asbestos. It is a condition that has been recognised by the medical profession since the 1960s – with even relatively low asbestos exposure capable of causing the disease. You also do not have to suffer from asbestosis first to suffer from mesothelioma and it has no connection to smoking cigarettes.
Mesothelioma is caused when asbestos fibres that are present in the atmosphere are breathed into the lungs or ingested. This causes inflammation of the lungs as the body tries to break down the fibres that are almost indestructible. The bodyâ€™s defence mechanisms attempt to break down the fibres but this can cause mesothelial cells to become abnormal and sometimes develop into tumours. Tumours can occur on the lining of the lung which is known as the â€śpleuraâ€ť (a thin, transparent membrane that covers the lungs and lines the inside of the chest wall.) Alternatively, tumours can sometimes appear on a similar lining between your bowel and the abdominal and pelvic cavities that are known as the â€śperitoneumâ€ť.
What is the Timescale of the Development Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma develops slowly. The latency period between first exposure to asbestos and the development of clinically obvious mesothelioma is usually around 20-35 years but can be as long as 50 years and as short as 10 years. Pleural mesothelioma can be either:
- Diffuse and malignant (cancerous) or
- Localised and benign (non-cancerous)
What are the Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma?
Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, lack of appetite, difficulty in swallowing, lower back pain, chest pain and unexplained weight loss. At first, sufferers of mesothelioma may experience breathlessness after heavy exertion but after the condition develops, they may experience breathlessness even while resting. The mesothelioma may also be accompanied by pleural thickening and/or pleural effusions.Â
Diagnosis, Treatment & Prognosis
Mesothelioma is often detected by CT scan or X-Ray and this is followed by a bronchoscopy. This is where a viewing scope is used to look inside the lungs. The biopsy can either be a â€śneedle biopsyâ€ť, an â€śopen biopsyâ€ť, or a â€śthoracoscopyâ€ť, or chest scope, whereby a tube with a camera is inserted into the lungs. There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma with numerous clinical trials being conducted to attempt to find a cure for this condition.
Prognosis is dependent on the size of the tumour, the cell type and whether or not the tumour cells respond to treatments and other factors. Many people live for up to 5 – 10 years after diagnosis and remain healthy for a majority of years. However, some succumb to the condition in a few months. The average survival time is around a year to fifteen months.
Making a Claim Against Negligent Exposure to Asbestos
You may have been negligently exposed to asbestos and as a result – developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related lung diseases years after the exposure took place. As asbestos was largely used as an insulation material but the asbestos industry for years attempted to hide the malignant effects of the material, many were negligently exposed to the material. The material is present in a vast amount of buildings constructed before 2000 – 1990 and industrial workers or the family members of those exposed to asbestos fibres may have been negligently exposed to the material.
Should you have been negligently exposed and are suffering from an asbestos-related lung disease or condition then you may be able to claim compensation against an employer. You are also able to take action against companies that are no longer trading as their insurers can provide compensation. You may also make an asbestos-related compensation claim for a family member who has passed away from an asbestos-related disease and was negligently exposed to the material. Our solicitors have a proven track record representing our clients in a wide range of asbestos-related compensation cases. Get in touch now to find out more information regarding mesothelioma and mesothelioma compensation claims.
Thompson & Co Personal Injury Solicitors has been providing specialist advice to members of the public in Personal injury, clinical negligence and related matters for over 20 years.